Bloomberg Live Help Discontinued

HelpIf you’ve spent time on a Bloomberg terminal you know that it contains vast amounts of information. With so much complexity, it is difficult for one person to know all of the database’s facets. This is where Bloomberg’s excellent Help features come in. Until recently, Bloomberg offered a live chat service, which students/staff/faculty could use to chat with a Bloomberg representative in real time. This live chat service was useful for locating data outside of one’s area of expertise.

As of March 2014, Bloomberg discontinued its live chat service <Help> <Help> for academic clients. Corporate clients and those with billable terminals will still have access to the 24/7 Live Chat service. If you use Bloomberg this summer at an internship, you will most likely have access to the live help feature.

Now, when you hit the help key twice, you can submit a question to the Bloomberg Help Desk. A response will come within one business day to both your Bloomberg account and to the university email that you provide. Type HDSK <GO> to access your Bloomberg email account. If you hit Help only one time, a separate window opens to a detailed manual that provides assistance with usage, instructions, definitions and calculations for the specific page you are on.

Bloomberg Help

While the turnaround time is no longer instant, the Bloomberg Help Desk puts a positive spin on things by noting that the email service will allow users to receive the detailed and considered response that these complex questions often require. While we have not yet tried out this service, based on our previous positive experiences with the Help Desk, we can only assume good things.

As always, a good place to start if you are stuck, is to ask one of the librarians at the Lippincott Reference Desk. Also, take advantage of the other Bloomberg Help features on the terminal. See also our Bloomberg Help Guide for assistance.

Executive Compensation: The Clown Makes A Good Argument

Executive compensation is composed of salary, bonuses, stock options, and other company benefits. Staggering figures like the CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 354:1 (in 2012) have brought executive compensation under some scrutiny in the United States. Other provisions like the ‘say on pay’ provision of the Dodd-Frank Act have brought executive compensation to the forethought of many shareholders’ minds.

dilbert ceo pay

Let’s start with a quick exercise. Which of the following CEOs had the highest base salary for the year 2012?

A. Larry Page (Google)
B. Alex Gorsky (Johnson & Johnson)
C. W. James McNerney, Jr. (Boeing)
D. C. Douglas Mcmillon (Walmart)

I’m not sure who you guessed (the answer is C), but we can quickly find out answers to questions like this using several library databases. A number of publications provide lists of the top paid CEOs, like Forbes’ list of America’s Highest Paid Chief Executives. Lists are helpful, but you may want to search by company or executive or create a time series of data.

Click to Expand

Click to Expand

LexisNexis Academic allows you to search within the Morningstar US Executive Compensation database. This source provides information on salaries, cash compensation, option grants, other stock-related compensation and auditor fees for U.S. public company directors and officers. Data comes from the Form 10-K or Annual Meeting Proxy Statements. The coverage is the current edition (i.e. FY 2013) and does not include historical data. Click Search by Content Type and select Company Profiles. Under the Advanced Options area select the source. Then search by company name (e.g. Apple Inc.) or by executive (e.g. Larry Page). This database is helpful if you are searching for a single company or executive.

Standard & Poor’s Execucomp database is available through WRDS (for Wharton account holders). Go to COMPUSTAT and select Execucomp. This database covers 2,872 companies, both listed and unlisted, with data for up to 9 executives, although most companies only report 5. Similar to the Morningstar database, this data is collected from each company’s annual proxy (DEF14A SEC form). With data back to 1992 and numerous fields to select from (e.g. EIP_UNEARN_NUM — Equity Incentive Plan–Number of Unearned Sha), this is a good database to use to build a time series. Below is an example of Google’s data for the past 5 years, with only Larry Page’s salary shown. Continue reading

Bloomberg Cuts through the Government Contract Maze

Bloomberg’s Government Spending module <BGS> is an important new tool designed to measure the effect of US contracts on a company’s outlook. Based on data from the 500 largest US Federal Government contract holders, the module displays prime contract orders for a company based on obligations posted by U.S. Federal Agencies. Details provided include key statistics, contract portfolio analysis, peer comparisons and quarterly trends.

To get access, type the ticker symbol into the command line, hit the Equity key, type BGS and hit Go. To search for Boeing’s US Government Contracts for example:

 BA US <EQUITY>  BGS  <GO>    

Blog contract first screen

The tabs on the Overview Table allow the examination of different aspects of a company’s contracts. The “Contract Analysis” tab, for example, lists Boeing’s individual Government Contracts by their value, Government Agency, and start and end dates.

Blog contract screen 2

For a list of the companies receiving US Government Contracts, type:

 BGSD <Go>

Blog contract screen 3

For more information on doing business with the U.S. Government and with individual states, see this FAQ.


Do You Have This Report? Finding Market and Industry Reports

Doing research on an industry? The Library has several databases that can help. Most Library resources can be accessed by typing the database name into the Findit box at the top of the Library homepage.


Net Advantage – Standard & Poors has been providing industry surveys since 1941. Older, print editions are available at Lippincott Library – Peck Collection (call number HG4921 .S672).  Recent years are available electronically. Once you are logged into the database, click on the Industries Tab. While coverage is mostly limited to the U.S. there are some international reports as well. The reports include industry profiles, trends, how the industry operates, key ratios, and how to analyze a company in this industry. Comparative company analysis is also available for industry leaders.


Moody’s Analytics examines industries from the standpoint of the bond markets. Not only does Moody’s provide very detailed reports on their methodologies for rating bonds in a particular industry, it also provides industry outlooks explaining what industry trends will affect the bond markets. Coverage is international in scope. Both types of reports provide deep insight into what is needed for an industry to thrive and what companies in that industry have the strongest potential for investment.Combined_2

Navigate using the Ratings and Research Tab. Next in the middle column, select Research Type and then choose Industry/Sector Research or Methodologies.

Use the filters on the left of the screen to limit to Corporates (under Market Segment) and then select an industry from the Market Segment filter. These are listed in alphabetical order. Continue reading

BRIC Works: Resources for Emerging Markets

The acronym BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) was coined in 2001 as a concise reference to the largest emerging markets. Since then, there has been a proliferation of Emerging Market acronyms. An “S” is sometimes added to BRIC to include South Africa. You can also find references to:

  • MINTS (Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore)
  • CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa)
  • MIST (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea and Turkey)
  • TIMP (Turkey, Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines)

Although the rapid expansion of emerging market economies has slowed recently (see for example, The BRICs have Hit a Wall) there is still strong interest in uncovering emerging market economic, financial and marketing data. Here are four important data sources.

Emerging Market Country ListISI Emerging Markets

Published by Euromoney Institutional Investor, ISI Emerging Markets gives full-text news (in English and in the original language), company and industry information, as well as general financial and economic data for 100 emerging market countries. The only notable gap in country coverage is Israel.

Business Monitor International

Although BMI reports on countries worldwide, the BRIC Business monitor menudata it provides on emerging markets is especially useful.  Their coverage includes political risk, finance, economic indicators, macroeconomic performance, outlook and forecast, and the business operating environment. The breadth of coverage is indicated by their industry menu (shown at the right).

The depth of the reporting is revealed by the cover of this 140-page quarterly report on the Brazilian Oil and Gas Industry.

BRIC Business Monitor Cover


The CEIC suite of databases provide time series data on 100 plus countries. Its Global and Sector databases cover more than 400,000 data items on topics including national accounts, government and public finance, demographic and labor markets, inflation, foreign trade, forex, financial markets, as well as data on a variety of industry sectors. Data are from national statistical sources. In addition, CEIC has a set of “premium” databases for Brazil, India, Russia, China and Indonesia that include greater detail.

Here are a few examples of the data granularity available from the premium CEIC files:

  • Indian 15-year annual time series on electricity consumption by fuel type by industry and region.
  • Chinese monthly real estate data at the city level for investment, building sales, and floor space.
  • Average Russian gasoline price for high/low octane by month (shown below).

CEIC Graph (1)


Bloomberg, of course, is a comprehensive source of detailed financial data for all developed and developing markets. If you want a one page snap shot of the BRIC countries economic and financial markets, type:


Bloomberg BRIC

For a larger view of emerging market countries, type:


EMMV bloomberg

Click on the Area Name in blue for an expanded list of countries.

For more sources on Emerging Markets, see our Business FAQ and our guides to specific areas and countries.

A League Table of Your Own

A League Table is a list of entities such as companies, teams, or individuals, ranked in order of achievement. In business, league tables most often refer to a list of investment banks ranked on the volume or value of such transactions as IPO’s or M&A deals. There are a very large number of combinations of league table variables (e.g. types of issues, country, time periods and currency). Here are descriptions of three financial databases that can help you construct a league table that fits your criteria.

(1) Bloomberg (available in Lippincott Library and Huntsman Hall)

Type LEAG and hit the green GO key.

The screen below is a list of investment banks ranked by amount of U.S. Bonds underwritten in 2013.

Bloomberg league default ok

There are many customization options. Click on:

  • Year (to choose dates from 1999 on)
  • Period (to choose year, half year or quarter)
  • Select a Market (to choose among markets for Debt, Equity, Structured Notes, and Syndicated Loans). You can also choose “custom markets” which will enable you to create a table based on detailed security, issuance and issuer data
  • Related Functions (to choose among league tables for M&A, Legal Advisors, Clean Energy, Muni League, and to create a matrix table)
  • View Ranks (to view a five year history and a detailed description of the table criteria)

Bloomberg also has hundreds of pre-formatted league tables with accompanying analysis. For a listing of these, type:

NI LEAG CRL and hit GO. Continue reading

Bloomberg’s PAC-MAN: Tracking Company Campaign Contributions

Determining company and PAC (Political Action Committee) contributions to candidates is made easy with Bloomberg’s Campaign Finance module.

Type BGCF <GO>

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

The series of screens below show the increasing detail available for election results by industry. The initial screen gives an industry sector breakdown showing the number of candidates who received at least $25,000 from individual company employees for each Sector ($25K+ Candidates) and the number of winning and losing candidates.


Click to Expand

Click to Expand

Clicking on a Sector will reveal the companies within the sector and their contributions.

Further detail is available at the company level showing individual candidate donation and external PAC recipients.

Use the left hand column of the initial screen (Monitor, Candidates, Donors PACS) to find information about specific companies and individuals. For example, to find contributions made by companies and PACS to individual Senators or Representatives, click on, for example, HOUSE (under the heading Candidates) and then on the name of a Representative. Search by company name to find donations by individual employees to candidates together with percentage of donation by party and office.

Bloomberg uses information supplied by the FEC – Federal Election Commission. Candidates for House and Senate are required to file with the FEC quarterly.

See our Business FAQ for other resources for corporate contributions to U.S. political parties.

Ten reasons to Use Bloomberg Templates for Company Analysis

In a recent post, we described Country Risk Assessment, the Bloomberg Excel Template that calculates country risk for 60 countries based on 25 financial, economic and political risk factors. This Template (XCRA) allows you to change the default risk settings and calculate country risk based on weights that you choose. This is just one of hundreds of Excel templates available in Bloomberg.

To search or browse for Bloomberg Templates by subject or keyword, type XLTP <GO>.

To access a specific Template, type XLTP followed by the code for the specific Template. For example, for the Template giving comparable valuation analysis, type:
XLTP XCVA <GO>. From the menu screen, click on OPEN to transfer the template to Excel. Below we give brief descriptions of ten templates that are useful for company analysis.

(1) XCVA – Comparable Valuation Analysis – side by side detailed analysis for multiple securities.

xcva ok

(2) XCSF – Company snapshot with financial analysis – provides company fundamentals, detailed earnings data, and peer group analysis.

(3) XIDA – In-depth company analysis – gives company fundamentals, estimates, and pricing data historically and in relation to peers.

(4) XBCS – Banks Comparison Sheet – compares a list of credit ratings, current market data, loan and capital details, profitability ratios, and asset quality.

(5) XIDF – In-depth finder – detailed view of financial statistics including profiles, ratios, capital structure, multiples, pensions, and segment analysis, annually, semi-annually, and quarterly. The screen below shows part of a Product and Geographic Segment analysis for ten years. Continue reading

Big Deal: Bloomberg’s M&A Database

Finding information about merger and acquisition transactions is simplified by the availability of several M&A databases.

A particularly easy to use but powerful M&A database is available through Bloomberg.

Type MA <GO> to access.

Bloom MA first screeen

The initial M&A screen gives an overview of merger activity, including lists of the largest deals by region or date, activity breakdowns by industry, and a brief League Table. Click the headings for greater detail.

To search for deals with specific characteristics, click on “Custom Search.”

Bloomb search screen

In this example, we are searching for all M&A completed acquisitions by public U.S. companies.

From the search screen click on RESULTS to display the default spreadsheet variables, then click EDIT COLUMNS to add or modify the variables.

In our example, we modified the default options to include data about the acquirer’s stock price following the acquisition, and downloaded the results to EXCEL.

Bloomberg excel

For other options for M&A deals see our Business FAQ on mergers and acquisitions. Also, take a look at our previous post on M&A Rumors.

Measuring Country Risk on Bloomberg

In a previous blog (Evaluating Country Risk) we examined Bloomberg’s module for country debt ratings (CSDR).

Here are some additional Bloomberg modules dealing with country risk.

Country Risk Assessment is a Bloomberg EXCEL Template that calculates country risk for 60 countries based on 25 financial, economic and political risk factors. You can use Bloomberg default risk settings or calculate country risks based on weights that you choose. To access type:


From the menu screen, click on OPEN to transfer the template to EXCEL. Then click on ENABLE CONTENT to activate the spreadsheet.

Here is part of the country view for Canada. Risk scores range from 0-100. The higher the score, the less risk a country poses.

Bloomberg Risk Canada

There are several additional views of the data available.

Model Summary: Gives a rank listing of countries by overall score, and subranking by Financial, Economic, and Political risk.

Bloomberg country score

Ticket List: A list of the approximately 1,500 Bloomberg mnemonics which form the basis of the country risk scores. Here you will find, for example, specific codes for France’s GDP forecast, Japan’s unemployment percent, and an index of the ease of doing business in Bulgaria. You can use the codes to examine the specific pieces of data. For example, to find the Economist’s Big Mac Index for Argentina from 1998 to date, type:


Model Settings: This section allows you to change the default weights of the individual factors that determine the risk score. This allows you to “build your own” country risk scores.

Economist Intelligence Country Risk averages the individual measures of sovereign risk, currency risk and banking sector risk to compute a score ranging from 0 to 100. The lower the score the less the country risk. To see a list of countries  (approximately 120) and their overall risk scores type:


allx country

Individual sub scores for currency (ALLX EICU), banking (ALLX EIBA), and sovereign risk (ALLX EISO) can be accessed as well.

Country Risk Premium: Bloomberg calculates the country risk premium as the return on a country’s stock market minus the risk free rate (typically government bonds) for the country. A recent figure for the United States is 7.09% where the risk free rate is 2.78% (ten year U.S. bonds) and the market rate is 9.88% (return on the S&P 500).  For access type CRP<GO>. Here are the first few entries (for about 40 countries) ranked by country risk premium in descending order.

Country Premium

For additional resources take a look at our Business FAQ, “Where do I find info on country risk — political risk, sovereign debt ratings, etc.?”.